Black Book January: Video

For two days I was filming the making of a mandala. It was not a very enjoyable work: as I have the tripod on my desk, it’s legs limited the movement of my book (the book being quite large and stuck between the said legs), so I had to twist and turn, even to get up in order to circle around. Consequently, it did not turn as precise as it usually does and made me quite a bit anxious, which was definitely not what I was going for. In addition, by the end of the video I accidentally deleted 3 clips, so I did not capture the whole process. I was surprised actually that the video is quite good, due to time lapse you cannot see me hesitating and my hand shaking, so I am pleased with the result. Have a look, it is less than 7 minutes long (I dislike long videos).

I stayed home again the whole day today. It’s freezing outside and I don’t feel like going anywhere. I am sick of the cold and I wish the temperature would rise above zero to melt this ice for at least a couple of days. This is making me almost depressed. Tomorrow morning I have to go to the court, I was called as a witness in some process my landlord is having with the municipality, I don’t even know what it is about. You can imagine that I am thrilled about having to go… So, I am trying to take deep breaths and say to myself that it will all be over quickly and that no introverts will be harmed in the process. It’s not really working… I am very nervous.

Black Book January: Update #6

I have two new finished mandalas in my Black Book. This is one:

I started it weeks ago and then my white pen gave up and I did not have the ink to refill it, so I had to leave it and start something else. This week I reconnected with my white ink, so here it is. In the middle rose triangles there are black dots which were not originally black, but contained white pearls which fell off and I did not replace them. That is is bit of a problem with doing dimensional things in a book. Those simply got stuck to the previous page… maybe they were not completely dry…

The second one I finished is this one:

I used the new Edding metallic markers – they work pretty nice on this black paper. Today I did another one with these markers, but I did not take a photo in the daylight, so I need to leave it until the next update. I also filmed that one, so there will be a video tomorrow or the day after.

Otherwise, I went skiing yesterday to a nearby place – nothing fancy, just a small local resort with easy tracks. I was skiing maybe for 1.5 hours and I got so frozen that I had to leave. It took me hours to warm up once I came home. So that was not such a brilliant idea after all, but it did make me feel happier, exercise always does. We are supposed to go to Slovakia next week for a 3-days skiing holiday and now I am really wondering how much skiing there will be. It seems that the weather is not getting any warmer.

Today I spent the day at home, drawing and painting. I finished another lesson from Life Book (will show you tomorrow). Somehow I have a feeling that I did not accomplish enough, actually, I often have that feeling, like the day just flies away and here I am: been nowhere, done nothing. Of course it’s not the case, but obviously I need to work on making myself feel more positive about what I accomplish. Small things…

Black Book January: Update #6

Today we travelled to Slovenia, so there was no time for art at all in the morning, but I plan to squeeze some mandala time in the evening, after blogging and before Netflix. I can show you now a work in progress, the one I started yesterday:

It was very cold in the house when we arrived, so we just quickly unpacked, got the heating going and left to have lunch and spend a couple hours in a local mall until the house temperature reached life supporting level. Of course, there was a visit to the local art store and I got me some pearl pens and black gesso (I want to try twinkling H2Os on black, as a part of my Black Book challenge and the paper in my book is too thin, so I plan to cover watercolor paper with black gesso and see what I can do, I’ll do it tomorrow and let you know how it goes). And then I also got some metallic pain markers which are supposed to work on black paper, so I will also try them at some point. Lots of plans, as you see. In addition, I need to try to catch up with course work this week. I cannot believe I am actually saying this, the year has just started and I am already behind. That is obviously because I am doing so much of my own drawing, so I am wondering why I needed all those classes again.

Anyway, detachment… also from stressing about course work I cannot manage. Last year I challenged myself to do all Life Book lessons, and it pretty much worked, but I ended up not finishing a few pieces and doing a couple that I did not really enjoy. This year I am not doing that. I will concentrate on doing lessons I really like. There will be less done, but that’s ok. Do I sound like I am not stressing about it? Today, there was no time for quiet time and examining my feelings, so tonight I will try to have a bit of reflection time before going to sleep. Speaking of which – I will finally have my room all to myself and I hope for a great, deep and refreshing ZZZZZZ….

Black Book January: Update #5

I have finished another mandala today:

 

This one was quick and easy. I used Sakura gel metallic pens and white Uni Ball pen. I was sitting by the swimming pool and drawing. It was a great day: swimming, sauna, art and resting all day long. I really needed it. I also started some meditation exercise to practice detachment – it basically consists of exploration of my feelings and attitudes towards things and people that are causing me pain. I knew before that it’s all in my head, and consequently it should be easy to dismiss. However, I notice that whenever I am actively observing my feelings, I am fine, but I don’t seem to keep it up. Once I slip, I am on a downhill slope and if I do not make a serious effort to contain the emotional spillage, it all gets messy again. So, obviously what is needed is constant attention. Let’s see if it is possible…

It’s our last night here. I am happy in a way, because nights are hard. I am not used to sharing a room with another person and I am having troubles sleeping (Mother snoring, coughing, tossing, breathing, just being there…). My sensory antennas are so finely tuned that nothing escapes me even when I sleep. And that’s never good, not even during the day, because it’s so exhausting and distracting. So, I am gladly giving up sauna and pool for a good night’s sleep in my own room.

Black Book January: Update #4

Today I finally completed this mandala:

The yellow parts are actually gold gel pen, but it’s not photographing well. Yesterday we went to Austria to that outlet, did some little shopping, had lunch and came back to our hotel. We spent the afternoon in the pool and sauna. It’s good, there are other guests, but nobody is really noisy, so it’s actually possible to relax by the pool, which I really like.
Today the weather is funny: there was sun in the morning, so we headed out for a walk in the park. By the time we came out, the sun was gone and it started snowing, so we cut our walk short, because it was cold and windy. By the time we were back to our room, it was again sunny… we decided to get down to the gym and do some exercise, which was quite nice, as the gym has big windows and view to the park and it was very calming to exercise and look out at the snow falling (it started again). Now we are resting and contemplating a visit to the pool and sauna. Life is good.

Black Book January: Update #3

I’ve been working on this one mandala for several days now. I used white posca pen for contours, and had a lot of trouble with it.

It did not want to work and I started to shake it and then the paint came out of it on top of my drawing. I managed to clean it up with black colored pencil, so it did not do much damage. But I am rather upset with posca pen. Why does it stop writing when there is still paint inside? It’s not that I abused it, such as dipped it into the wet acrylic paint or used it over a particularly rough surface, no, this one was used only on paper or on top of coloured pencil, it should not have cause damage. Anyway… I get upset because these pens are expensive and I am pretty sure that the cost-benefit analysis is not favorable for me, and I get even more upset because those pens are not easy to get in shops, I have to order it online and I did not have a spare because this one was new and, you know… I wanted to finish my mandala and the only thing I could do is press the tip to the paper in order to get paint out and then dip the tip back into the paint and use it as a dip pen on my drawing, which produced uneven lines I was not happy with, like this:

 

This morning I started doodles on top of it, but could not finish, this is how it looks now:

I had to stop and pack because we travelled today to a place close to Austrian-Hungarian border, which is called Rojtokmuzsaj. It’s a village with a most amazing old castle spa hotel. We were here last winter too, and decided that we need to come again.So, it’s four days of swimming pool, sauna, walks in park and a shopping excursion (because an Austrian outlet is close by, so we can’t miss it, right?).

Of course, I have my Black Book and my pens with me, so I will continue with my mandalas during our stay here, of course.

Black Book January: Update #2

This morning I finished the mandala that took several days to do:

 

There were large areas to color with color pencils and then doodles also took awhile. Color pencils make the surface waxy and slippery, so doodling with ink on top is not very easy. I made lots of mistakes, but I am rather happy with the end product. It looks quite good.

Today was another freezing cold and beatifully sunny day. I went skating anyway, because I felt like going crazy from inactivity. It was very nice on ice, not cold at all and not crowded, probably due to low temperatures. Now, however, I can feel the skin on my face burning and I have a mild headache. I hope the headache will not develop into a migraine. That would be really bad, because I want to go skating again tomorrow.

Yesterday we went to the local tropicarium and watched sharks and fancy fish. It was very pleasant distraction from the winter outside. Afterwards we had coffee and cake and then we had trouble falling asleep because the coffee was big and strong. But it’s all fine, because we do not need to get up early or be anywhere.

That’s it for this Monday. I am off to make buttery popcorn and install myself in front of the TV. Orange is the new black is on.